Torrential rain and treacherous conditions underfoot proved no deterrents as Laos scrambled home to an 11-7 victory over Cambodia at the Chao Anouvong Stadium in Vientiane on Saturday for a two-leg aggregate of 32-26 points to lift the 2011 Mekong Cup Asian Five Nations, the symbol of rugby supremacy between the two ASEAN neighbours.
Going into their home game with a slender two-point advantage after their 21-19 first- leg win in Phnom Penh on July 17, Laos ran up an 11-0 lead before the break.
On resumption, however, the visiting Cambodian side began to open up, pushing the home team to defend their territory in full strength.
A try by Dan Terrence Weatherall and a conversion by Pich Ratana lit up the Koupreys’ hopes as they put every ounce of energy into the finish.
“We were very close to another try just a few metres from the line when we ran out of time,” Cambodia head coach Richard Flannagan said after arriving in Phnom Penh yesterday.
“It was a tense game. Like in the first leg in Phnom Penh, we conceded too much ground in the first half.”
The victory pushed Laos’s head-to-head record against Cambodia to 10-3, as they have now won the last four encounters.
Cambodia last won the Mekong Cup in 2009, when it was part of the Asian Five Nations competition, defeating Laos 24-8 in Phnom Penh.